Notes

Interstellar and a certain kind of science fiction

Abigail Nussbaum considers Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar at Asking The Wrong Questions.  “As much fun as it is to watch this sort of story–and the enjoyment is only increased by Interstellar‘s refreshing rejection of Hollywood’s standard save the cat story template, with multiple complications and decision points that give the film an almost novelistic feeling–there’s no denying how old-fashioned it is, and how hard Interstellar works to avoid that fact and its implications.  In some ways, Interstellar is as much a meta-statement about the kind of science fiction it is telling as it is an example of it.  Cooper laments the loss of humanity’s spirit of exploration, the insistence he keeps hearing that trying to get into space is wasteful in the face of real problems on Earth.  But this is also a reflection of the shift in priorities within the genre.  Hardly anyone writes stories (or makes movies) about space exploration and colonization anymore, and more often than not when writers nowadays imagine the future it’s to focus on climate catastrophe and other more immediate problems (this is certainly the case when outsiders to the genre–including filmmakers–try their hand at it).

Interstellar tries to offer a hopeful paean to this kind of SF, but in so doing it only exposes its problems and shortcomings. “

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